Franz Ziener GmbH & Co. KG

Well in hand – Seasonal sales management at Ziener

Winter sports gloves in the winter, cycling gloves in the summer – the sports glove specialist Ziener uses the controlling software Corporate Planner for its seasonal segment planning.

When Stefan Kiening, Commercial Director at Franz Ziener GmbH & Co. KG in Oberammergau, Bavaria, had to choose new controlling software, he picked Corporate Planner. All in all he had looked at three different solutions. For him, the software‘s high degree of brand awareness, as much as the user-friendly navigation and handling in the CP-Suite, were points in favour of Corporate Planning. What‘s more, the software offers him solutions for all his particular needs at a reasonable price.

Seasonal planning
Stefan Kiening has since relied on the support of the CP-Software for profit planning as well as reporting, season after season. Being in charge of Ziener‘s corporate performance management and finances, it is up to him to gather data from various departments and pre-systems. A strong seasonal business, with the pre-order, production and delivery cycles repeating themselves in chronological sequences at regular intervals, is characteristic of the sector. For winter sports gloves and clothing, the product cycle begins at the beginning of the year with the development of the new collection followed by its launch at a leading trade fair. The pre-order business until the end of April allows for a pretty accurate plan of the necessary volumes. When sport article retailers and department stores with large sports sections place their orders, the production which is already in progress can still be fine-tuned. Even so, the commercial director leaves nothing to chance by putting together reliable budgets using the CP-Software.

In practice, data from the Sage New Classic ERP software and the Winfashion stock management system are transferred to Corporate Planner via Microsoft Excel import. The sales department supplies the target figures for the planned sales, while the planned merchandise purchase figures are provided by the purchasing department. Together with the general management, Stefan Kiening plans the personnel and other costs. The planning process at Ziener starts off as a yearly plan, which is first revised after six months and then again another three months later. Each planning scenario is stored as a contribution margin analysis in its own Corporate Planner data stream so that comparative analyses can be made.

Monthly segment results statements
But it’s not just the different planning scenarios which can be compared. The segment results statement is yet another application focus of the CP-Software.

The latter plays an important part in both the Sales Report and the financial plan. As part of the sales management process, immediately after month’s end, sales revenues and costs of sales per segment are analysed, and the report is forwarded to the responsible parties. There are five main product segments: winter sports gloves, winter clothing, bike gloves, bike clothing, and custom models created as a service for key clients.

A breakdown of each segment into product groups is displayed in the typical Corporate Planner tree structure. Based on these data, Stefan Kiening puts together the segment analysis with a detailed contribution margin calculation, variance analyses (actual/previous year and target/actual) and the income statement for the executive management every month, while financiers and investors receive these analyses on a quarterly basis.

Stefan Kiening is solely responsible for the accuracy and transparency of the actual figures and the plan for sales and finance at Ziener, a company with 55 employees. Therefore he is all the happier to have Corporate Planner as a reliable partner at his side. “The software is easier to handle than other solutions, and the display of the results is much more clearly arranged,” he is pleased to say about the support which has greatly simplified his work.

About Ziener
Franz Ziener GmbH & Co. KG, based in Oberammergau in Upper Bavaria, specialises in technically innovative sports gloves and clothing for skiing and biking.

The traditional family business, managed in the third generation by Frank Ziener together with Frank Burig, is a European market leader in winter sports gloves and has 55 employees.